Did I Just Have A Heart Attack?

I am writing this from my observation room in urgent care where I am currently hooked up to an IV and an EKG after undergoing blood work and X-rays on my chest. Not exactly what I expected to be doing on a Sunday night.

The headline is: I did NOT have a heart attack. I won’t make you read to the end for that.. so relax.

What I do know is that around 3pm today I felt a weird feeling in my heart that I have NEVER felt before. I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe it was palpitations or flutters or something else. All of a sudden I felt like my heart just wasn’t doing its thing. It was weird and it was unusual. I felt a little sweaty… a little unsteady… and it was a little hard to catch my breath… and more than anything I was a little freaked out. I went and told my wife. And I went outside to get air hoping whatever this was would just go away. After a ten minutes or so it did. But what the hell WAS it. I didn’t know. I didn’t think I’d had a heart attack. Did I? I certainly wasn’t clutching my chest or hitting the floor in agony. It was just weird. My wife suggested going to urgent care just to be safe. I’m stubborn and I didn’t want to be a bother. Things had seemed to settle down anyway.

So I did what any good father in my situation would do. I grabbed the kids and took them for ice cream. I didn’t know if I’d had a heart attack and didn’t think so but if I did.. I wasn’t gonna go down like that. We went to Baskin Robbins and I got an Oreo shake. Mmmmm Oreo.

The heart thing was still nagging at me though. Why did my heart seem to spaz out and what was it. Eventually at my wife’s persistent urging, I dragged the family urgent care in Pasadena. They did an EKG. They did blood work. They did chest X-rays. They observed me… and observed me more. I laid back and watched 60 Minutes and Madam Secretary. Even in urgent care, I’m still a news guy and a company guy and maybe they’ve got Nielsen boxes in there.

What I do know is this: They came back and told me I do not have any of the markers of a heart attack in my blood. None. And after observing me for a couple of hours, my EKG was still looking OK with no signs of whatever I had felt before. I am here and I am alive and I am feeling goofy being hooked up to all this stuff when they now think my heart is totally fine. What did I feel? Who knows. I got to do some reading in the bed here and was reminded how many people dismiss their symptoms and wait too long to seek medical help. Sure I went for ice cream but the “what the hell was that” still nagged at me to go and my wife too. And I’m glad I did. Because they gave me peace of mind.

While I didn’t have a heart attack and everything looks good… I am taking this opportunity to pass on to you… symptoms to look out for. Don’t take your kids for ice cream just in case. Get the clean bill of health and take ’em for ice cream afterwards.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack_UCM_002039_Article.jsp#mainContent

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PS: I wrote this a little while ago and am only posting it now. I questioned whether to even bother writing about something which turned out to be nothing. But I also thought it was a good opportunity for a little heart awareness. Dadmissions.

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About dadmissions

author of Dadmissions. surrounded by a wife and two girls... and a dog named Cupcake
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10 Responses to Did I Just Have A Heart Attack?

  1. garym6059 says:

    Was it an acid reflux attack I went through that four years ago and the symptoms 100% mimic a heart attack

  2. Mike van Mil says:

    Thank you for posting this! Far too often I see people minimize symptoms and fall into the denial trap. Much the way you did; thankfully with no ill effect. I have though see the opposite more often then I ever want. I see the after effects, the people left behind…….please do call 911 when ever you feel anything different or funny in your chest. The thing about hearts and brains is that they are not like your skin where you get a scab and then the skins just regrows and its like nothing ever happened, Once there is damage to heart muscle or brain tissue it is permanent and sometimes fatal. The mantra we were always taught was that time is muscle! (https://paramedicmike.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/chest-pain-why-did-the-paramedics-not-take-me-to-my-local-hospital/ ) The sooner you can get medical attention the less damage there will be. Sorry about being so hard and ranting but I agree with you that this is an important message to get out!
    Thanks again and I`m so glad you are ok!

  3. I had an episode like that a few years ago. I had my infant grandson in my arms at the time and had to pass him off. I did go see a cardiologist and they did all the tests and all was well. They still don’t know what it was but did say sometimes things like that occur and may never occur again. Scary as all get out! I’m very happy you’re ok! Take care of you!

  4. Glad you are ok!! Always listen to the wife person!! 🙂

  5. I’ll keep that advice in mind.
    Glad you are okay.

  6. John Nelson says:

    Being a Dad of 2 anklebiters, I’ve had something like this before – turns out I’m prone to panic attacks.
    Mind you, back in 2011 I ended up in hospital with a pulmonary embolism and didn’t even realise I was having anything that serious… I just felt breathless when exerting myself… changing nappies etc etc…

    I’ve got to know the difference between stress and something serious… but you do still have doubts…

  7. Naomi says:

    The hubby has some genetic arrhythmia problems that seemed like that at first. He’s on medicine that fixes it for now, but his dad had to have surgery. His dad and brother have had several blood clot episodes because of it, too. Most of the time, their hearts are fine, but sometimes the electrical signals didn’t work right and only half of the heart was trying to pump. Sometimes, it would just happen for a few minutes, and sometimes it happens for hours or days.

    I’m glad you didn’t have a heart attack! If you have anyone with blood clots in your family history and have the weird feeling again, I’d mention the history so they can diagnose you more quickly. They kept the hubby in the hospital for 4 days or so the first time he had an episode!

  8. Damn! Glad to hear you didn’t have a heart attack! Hope you feel better soon and don’t have a repeat of that episode.

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